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Is Search Engine Optimization an Art or Science?

January 11, 2008

Panah Mosaferirad posted a thought provoking question on LinkedIn Answers: Search Engine Optimization: Art or Science? Mosaferirad went on to insist that it’s more of a science:

“Many consultants claim that search engine optimization (SEO) is more of an art than science. I tend to strongly disagree as while you may need to have some creativity to come up with innovative SEO tactics, it hardly makes search engine optimization an art.”

Search Engine Optimization is an art and a science. I don’t think one is mutually exclusive to the other. SEO is an art because parts of it requires an understanding of copywriting and marketing know-how, both of which tend to lean on the side of creativity/art. SEO is a science because it deals with complex search engine algorithms, coding techniques, etc. I believe that SEOs that do their job well balance both sides of the coin.

For example, I can plug in my keywords in a page, but if I have no creativity, the words might looked forced and won’t appeal to the visitor. Could the page rank well? Possibly if the right factors are in place, but without the art, it’s not going to appeal to the user and therefore whatever ranking you achieved is useless.

But what do you think. Is search engine optimization an art or science? Post your comments below or join the discussion on Linked In.